To celebrate Father’s Day we are featuring a local Dad. Meet local dad and writer Richard Simpkin who’s inspiring kids to achieve their dreams with his kids books.

My name is Richard Simpkin and I’m the author of eight books. My last three books are about inspiring children to believe in themselves to achieve their dreams. I wrote three books about Ash Barty, Cathy Freeman and Steve Irwin. All three had big dreams when they were kids, and by believing in themselves and never giving up they achieved their dreams. The series of kids books are called; Aussie Big Achievers. 

Where and how long have you lived in Sydney’s east?

I’ve lived in the East my whole life. 

I went to junior school at Cranbrook and finished high school at Waverley College. The only time I haven’t lived in the East was in 2001 when I lived in London. 

Three words that describe what it’s like to live in the eastern suburbs?

It’s just beautiful 

How many children?

We have one son who is 10, his name is Oliver.

Favourite Park:

Our favourite park in the East is Cooper Park, you can’t go wrong as there’s a great cafe, tennis courts and the rainforest. There’s always an adventure when we’re there. 

Favourite Beach:

Parsley Bay, yes I know it’s not a beach but it’s so beautiful there. There’s a great park, playground and rainforest walk, which kids and adults love. The cafe is handy on a hot summer day and then you can have a swim as well. I never get bored of walking over the suspension bridge. I always stop half way and look at everyone having fun either in the water or the park. 

Favourite kid friendly cafe:

Madame & Yves on Clovelly road is great, it’s the best French patisserie in the East. The ice creams are yummy, the coffees are great and the croissants and baguettes are close to perfect. Oliver loves the food and also they let you take your dog inside while you order so it’s family and pet friendly. 

Favourite Coffee Spot:

That’s a tough one as there’s so many good Coffee spot’s in the East.

Madame & Yves make great coffee, The Lamrock Cafe at Bondi Beach also makes nice coffee and Piccolini in Double Bay is amazing. It’s too hard to pick just one. 

Favourite date night place:

Wet Paint in Bronte is fantastic, delicious food, excellent ambience and yummy desserts. 

Where in the east have you yet to explore and would like to ?

I’ve lived in the East for 49 years and I think I pretty much know almost every street, lane, avenue and crescent. I guess the only thing I haven’t done yet in the East is explore under the water. I’ve yet to see the blue groper in Clovelly so that’s something I need to do. 

What would you like to see improve in the eastern suburbs?

I think everyone who lives in the Eastern Suburbs would love it if there were a few extra lanes on the roads. I remember when I was a kid you could drive through New South Head Rd without barely stopping. Now in the afternoons it’s like a parking lot, but there’s not much anyone can do about this, I’m sure there’s a few people reading this that dread the afternoon traffic on New South Head Rd. Parking meters have also popped up everywhere which has become a nuisance. 

Favourite Local Shop:

I do enjoy the markets on the weekend at Bondi Beach and Paddington.

Favourite wet weather location:

Can I say under an umbrella? If not then Westfield at Bondi Junction has so many options from the movies, shopping and food. 

Favourite Local family Weekend Activity?

There’s so many great things to do in the East with your family.

I’ve loved skateboarding since I was a kid in the 80’s, my skating idol has always been Tony Hawk and Oliver also admires him as well. We were lucky to have spent time with him in May of this year. We enjoy hanging out at the Bondi Skatepark, when Oliver isn’t riding we enjoy watching other riders, some are absolutely incredible. 

Work or SAHM?

I enjoy working on my childrens books, in fact just last week I finished writing one on Shane Warne. I love learning new things which I do, when I’m researching these Australian legends.

Fatherly advice?

Always believe in yourself because if you do, you will achieve great things.

For more information about my inspirational kids books please visit: